Gathering of the Ohio Faithful
July 6 - 12, 2020
This event schedule is subject to change.
Monday, July 6
Arrive mid-to-late afternoon. Registration is in the hospitality room and will open at 3:00. The Berlin Encore Hotel is our property for Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday nights. Located at 4365 Ohio-39, Millersburg, OH, this is the GPS address for the hotel. It is not in Millersburg—it is 8 miles East, on the outskirts of the small town of Berlin. Dinner tonight is on your own, locally, and we will post restaurant menus and activities to do in town. Please partake of the small shops, but most close between 5-7:00 on a Monday night. We’ll have an organized meet-up at 6:30 at Main Street Fudge & Popcorn – You know the drill, it’s good karma to start an MG event off with ice cream!!! Return to the hotel afterwards for socializing and the usual meet & greet in the hospitality room, all evening.
Tuesday, July 7
Complimentary hot breakfast at hotel. This is our day in Ohio’s Amish Country. We begin at 8:50 with Behalt: The Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center. A guided talk will use a 265 ft. long cyclorama, or mural-in-the-round, to inform us about the faith, culture and lifestyle of the Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite people. It will be followed by a 9:30 guided tour and explanation of the Amish schooling system, and a typical barn which houses an original covered wagon used by people migrating to this area, plus, two modern-day buggies. We then travel up the road to Heini’s Cheese for a guided tour of how famous Bunker Hill Cheeses are made (with nearly 100 samples provided!). Traveling to Wendell August Forge is next, where master craftsmen will demonstrate this unique historical art form—plus, see the world’s largest Amish buggy here. Lunch today is on your own (OYO) at Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen in Mt. Hope, followed by additional master crafts-women-ship—of the soft-goods type—at the Lone Star Quilt Shop. If desired, the men can walk next door to the Affordable Barn Co. to see storage barns, cottages and play houses, garages and dog kennels being built. This marks the end of our formal/organized activities for the day, but, you’ll have the entire afternoon to enjoy in the area... We’ve made informal visit arrangements with several merchants you’ll want to be sure to visit OYO such as, the old-fashioned hardware store in Mt. Hope, The Ashery, “the Grandma of the Bulk Food stores,” Troyer’s Genuine Trail Bologna (you’ll learn how it got its name), Kauffman’s Bakery, David Warther Carvings (son of the famous master-carver; he learned from his grandfather and father and now has his own place, mostly nautical themed), visit the award-winning 120,000 sq. ft. showroom at Keim Lumber, family-run Coblentz Chocolates, Guggisburg Cheese ( seeing a theme?) or, watch brooms being made the old-fashioned way at Holmes Broom Co. Before returning to the hotel, stop at nearby Troyer’s Country Market and learn to grind your own peanut butter! Tonight we have a group buffet dinner, on-property, followed by a live-entertainment show at the Amish Country Theatre, attached to the hotel.
Wednesday, July 8
Comp. hot breakfast at hotel. Our day starts with a 9 a.m. departure on back-roads to join up with the northern half of The Old Port Washington Road: Ohio’s first state-recognized road. We’ll miss the now “modern”, Millersburg leg, but when founded, a trip from Millersburg to Baltic took an entire day (and, in 2020, some parts of the route are still gravel and dirt—we’ll avoid those parts!) After Baltic, it’s on to the Age of Steam Roundhouse, a fabulous active train restoration facility, where a formal guided tour awaits. Lunch will be OYO in Sugarcreek—I recommend Bags Sports Grill for good food at reasonable prices. While in town, be sure to see and hear the giant cuckoo clock chime (after its recent restoration), see the lovely murals painted around town, view a unique carved brick-wall sculpture and visit the donation-only Alpine Hills Museum to learn why this area is called “the Little Switzerland of Ohio.” At 2:00 in Dover, we’ll visit the Toland-Herzig Famous Endings funeral collection (unique!). We’re then scheduled to see Bob Smith’s personal hearse and ambulance collection, something not usually open to the public. The group remains together this entire day. Dinner is OYO in the small town of Strasburg at The Manor Restaurant (Since 1961; very affordable, all of us can sit in small groups and order off the menu.). A beautiful, hilly evening country drive awaits, as we return to the hotel where folks can enjoy the comforts of the hospitality room to socialize and recap their days’ events!
Thursday, July 9
Comp. hot breakfast at hotel. This is our check-out and transfer day to the Columbus area. We’ll depart about 9 a.m. for another day of fun and unusual sightseeing by heading to the extensive personal farm machinery and agriculture historical collections of Ron Grosjean at his family’s JR Acres, south of Wooster. Lunch will be OYO at Bishop’s family restaurant nearby; we’ll release groups for lunch, so as to not overwhelm the restaurant all at once. These arrangements were made with the assistance of club members, Bob and Sue Miller—thanks! A definite wow-factor is next, as we head West to take advantage of a totally-unique and hard-to-come-by experience—we’re going to The Carousel Works in Mansfield—one of, if not the only place, where they still carve the wooden figures to make carousels by hand! Members of The Guild of Master Craftsmen, this unique business goes by the philosophy, “There are some people who live in a dream world and there are some who face reality; and, then there are those who turn one into the other.” Afterwards, keeping in-theme, we’ll head down Main Street and ride the company’s first creation—at Richland Carrousel Park! Opened in 1991, as the first new, hand-carved carousel built in the United States since the 1930's, the Carrousel figures were designed, carved and painted by Carousel Works of Mansfield. The Carrousel is handicapped accessible. We then head South, towards Columbus, just in time for rush hour. No need to worry, though, your fearless leaders have you on backroads almost the whole way to the hotel, avoiding nearly all congestion and the rat race!
Our host hotel for Thursday/Friday/Saturday nights is the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center, located at 100 Green Meadows Drive, Lewis Center, OH. Folks may check-in and unload, then we’ll have a very leisurely catered dinner (in an air-conditioned building) located within the Highbanks Metropark, across the road from the hotel. Overnight car parking on-property will be the West parking lot (in the front); this will be reserved for MG parking for the duration of our stay. Once back at the hotel, folks can enjoy socializing in the hospitality room all evening.
Friday, July 10
Comp. hot breakfast at hotel. We’ll enjoy a nice backroads drive, up through the country, to the Honda Heritage Center of rural Marysville. A tour of the museum is confirmed and will highlight the company's success in North America over the last half-century with an array of historical, current and future concept exhibits. Lunch will be catered-in, on-site, as a convenience. Please note, our time at Honda will only involve the Heritage Center, we will not be touring the auto assembly plant, as it’s a 2 mile walk! Our next stop will be the super-cool Transportation Research Center (TRC), just outside of East Liberty, OH. This is the Nation’s largest independent proving grounds in the U.S. After seeing all that’s done to keep us safe in our automobiles, we’ll head back to the hotel late afternoon on a Friday—we’ll see how successfully we can, again, avoid rush hour! Dinner is also going to be fun! We’re catering in at the historic Barn at Stratford and will also tour the Meeker Homestead Museum. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this unique venue—owned by the Delaware County Historical Society—was the residence of the owner of the mill which used to be the livelihood for the Village of Stratford (did you even know it existed? Between Worthington and Delaware—very historic. Back at Nationwide Hotel, folks can enjoy the hospitality room all evening long.
Saturday, July 11
Comp. hot breakfast at hotel. The big day has arrived—the official celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Ohio Chapter! We’ll depart for nearby Pontifical College Josephinum where our morning activities and lunch will take place. From its original campus at East Main and 17th Streets, downtown Columbus, the seminary relocated to its present location in 1931—finished only one week before the 1929 stock market crash which heralded the Great Depression. On-campus, we will do the following:
9:30 a.m. GOF XCV display-only car show on a nice grass lawn (as was traditional for the Club for years -- this event will not involve judging, nor voting, nor be open to the public).
10:45 Official 50th anniversary commemorative group photo (everyone included, whether car present or not!). This will be immediately following the car show, in the same grassy location.
11:15 Funkhana, adjacent to car show, this fun version of parking lot games is being planned through the assistance of club member John Olman, Webmaster and creator of Funkhana.com
12:15 Catered lunch at a nearby event center.
1:15 Depart for an afternoon driving tour up through the country—
You’ll have your choice of a leisurely drive (looking at trees and fields), or
a Dave Smittle-planned drive with related challenge questions! (Is there even a question here?)
We’ll return to the hotel by late afternoon so folks can take a nap. Then, it’s time to get all gussied up for the big night!
6 :00 Happy Hour reception in the Ohio building, on-property.
7:00 Formal Awards Banquet and Grand Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Club in the Edgewater Room. This is the exact location of the first Ohio Chapter banquet! Now, newly-remodeled, much of the character was retained and looks similar to what many founding members may remember.
After dinner, historical presentations, event awards, recognitions and special remembrances will all take place. It will be a grand evening, full of fond memories spent with friends—all conjoined by way of a British automotive marque—a Club, comprised of friends, which has lasted just about the same amount of time as the Glory Years of the MG-itself! We hope you will join us for our celebration!
Sunday, July 12
Comp. hot breakfast at hotel. The board of directors meet at 9 a.m.
We’ll say our goodbyes, as everyone heads home.